Akpan Etukudoh Asare
Prof. Lukas Olusegun Ogunjimi, the national chairman of National chairman of Nigerian Association of Athletic Technical Officials (NAATO), is in Calabar for his associated and to represent the Athletic Federal of Nigeria at the maiden 10 km marathon race starting from Saturday 20 July 2019.
At a media briefing held inside the UJ Esuene Stadium Calabar, Ogunjimi commended the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star Universal Youth Fellowship for organising the first ever marathon race.
Ogunjimi said both NAATO and AFN are excited over the race, saying it was interesting that a religious organisation could boost sports in such a manner and urged other private enterprises to emulate the spiritual organization.
The race will start off and finish at UJ Esuene stadium, adding that his association will provide all the desired technical inputs.
International chairman of the UYF, Archbishop Tom Inyang-Akpan said they have invested resources to stage the race to mark their 42 year anniversary.
He said the race would be organised every year, depending on the interest shown by participants and supports from the authorities in order to regularly engage Nigerian youths and to spot out better talents amongst them.
“The marathon race is in collaboration with the Cross River State Sports Council. It has the theme: Race For Peace, a way to emphasise peace, spot good talents and also profitably engage the youths.
“Already, from the registrstion process, we have entrants from Plateau, Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta States. The race will hold on Saturday 20 July. We are looking at having over 200 participants. We have medical and security teams in place. We have marked out the routes. We will stress much on medical fitness.
“We are giving out N200,000 each for first prize for male and female. Second prize is N100,000 each for male and female. Third prize is N50,000 each for male and female. We also have N10,000 each for the fourth to tenth place winners each for male and female.
“We hope to up the first prize to N500,000 next year God willing”, Akpan said.